Abbas says he rejected offer from Egypt’s Mursi to settle Palestinians in Sinai
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that he had rejected an offer by former Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi to get a part of Sinai to settle the Palestinians there.
“When the Brotherhood ruled during Mursi’s presidential term, we were offered a part of Sinai but we turned down the offer,” he said while addressing the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah.
He added that this was an Israeli project dubbed “Giora Eiland” and aims to completely put an end to the Palestinian cause.
Abbas voiced his rejection to Mursi and told him that the Palestinians will not accept such proposals as they will not leave their land and will not live on someone else’s land.
The Palestinian president had revealed details of this proposal four years ago while meeting with reporters in Egypt as he said that he had refused an Israeli offer to take 1,000 kilometers of Sinai during Mursi’s era.
He added that back then, Hamas and Israel were discussing taking 1000 km from Sinai to expand Gaza but he refused the plan saying: “We will not even take one centimeter from Egypt’s land.”
According to Abbas, Mursi reprimanded him for not accepting the offer.
Military expert Major-General Hussam Soueilam told Al Arabiya.net that the “Giora Eiland document” is named after Giora Eiland, a reserve commander who works at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and it was proposed as the “best solution” for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“Eiland’s project stipulated that resolving the Palestinian cause is not only Israel’s responsibility but the responsibility of 22 other Arab states as Egypt and Jordan in particular must positively and effectively formulate a regional and multilateral solution,” he said.
According to the Israeli project, the Palestinians would be granted 720 km2 of North Sinai that extends from Rafah in the west until Arish borders and from west Kerem Shalom border crossing until the south alongside the Egyptian-Israeli borders.
Soueilam added that according to this project, Gaza’s area will be three times more than its current area which is only 365 km2. He noted that the Palestinians will have to give up 12% of the West Bank’s area to be included within Israeli territories and that Egypt will be compensated with an equal area from Israeli lands southwest of Negev.